One Flock, One Shepherd: The Gospel of the Great 50 Days

As we approach the Fourth Sunday of Easter we will be engaging with the Gospel narrative from John 10 where Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd. While preparing for this post I came across a painting by the Dutch realist Anton Mauve (1838-1888) entitled "Shepherd and Sheep."

I hope that this week's tapestry of imagery, Word, and song allow you to worship the One who laid down his life for us; who calls to us and whose voice we hear and know by faith.

JOHN 10:11-18 (ESV)

I Am the Good Shepherd
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”


Jesus Protects Us Like a Good Shepherd

As the Good Shepherd Jesus protects us from the enemy and from those who seek to harm us and destroy us. As the God who is for us, Jesus is our advocate and defender. As we seek him and call on his name his protective love and grace are there to guide us and lead us from temptation.

We Know the Voice of Our Good Shepherd

As the sheep know the voice of their shepherd, so we hear the voice of our ascended Lord who speaks to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. In John 16 Jesus promises us: 

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

When the Lord speaks his voice is clear and undeniable. He will always guide us by his own authority and according to his word and truth.

There Will Be One Flock, One Shepherd

Though we may appear divided as the church, we are one in Christ. As the creedal statement in Ephesians 4 proclaims:

"Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all."

As believers we have "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all." We who know the Good Shepherd, are part of the flock, part of the fold. We hold to one "glorious hope for the future" when all who have placed their faith and hope in the Good Shepherd will be united as one, gathered together in the new heavens and the new earth.


Loving God,
we are the sheep of your hand,
the people of your pasture.
You know us; we are yours.
You call us; we listen for your voice.
By your Spirit, make us one flock, one people:
through the One who laid down his life for us,
Jesus Christ, the good shepherd. Amen.



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